CBD Concentrates: A Short Guide

CBD Concentrates: A Short Guide

CBD concentrates are an amazing way to use CBD. One of the most profound things we do at Chillum CBD Dispensary is our $5 Dabs!  Sometimes, when someone comes into the store and says something like “CBD has never worked for me.” or “What does CBD do?”, it is nice to have the ability to give them a dab and show them on the spot. However, concentrates can get a bit complicated though so we figured we would take some time to explain.

Austin doing a $5 dab.  Dabs are a form of CBD concentrates that we distribute right in the store.
Here is our Hemptender Austin showing us what it looks like to take a $5 Dab!

Cannabidiol (CBD) belongs to a class of chemical compounds called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compound that bind with Cannabinoid Receptors.  There are 3 main types of cannabinoids: endocannabinoids (produced naturally in the body), phytocannabinoids (produced naturally in plants), and synthetic cannabinoids (engineered in a lab).  These cannabinoids and the previously mentioned cannabinoid receptors are what make the endocannabinoid system (ECS).  The ECS is responsible for the regulation of the body.  Its goal is homeostasis, which simply means everything in the body is running smoothly.

Cannabinoids are fat based, meaning they can easily be extracted into an oil form.  There are many ways to extract the oils of both cannabis and hemp. Since the 2018 US Farm Bill, hemp has been legal to possess and sell. Since hemp is high in CBD content let’s talk a bit about how to extract CBD oil.

How to Extract CBD Concentrates?

Some different consistencies of CBD Concentrates
Some different consistencies of CBD Concentrates.

The extraction of CBD concentrates is the manner of creating a CBD concentrate. You can do several things with this oil. For example, we use a variation of this oil for our $5 dabs in the store, but it could also be used to cook with or to make a variety of products. The process and method of extraction will directly influence the contents, quality, and purity of a product. Normally, some sort of solvent is used, but there are extraction methods that don’t require a solvent.

Method of CBD Concentrates Extraction


Typically, the hemp is soaked in the alcohol, most commonly ethanol. When you soak the hemp in the ethanol, the oils from the plant end up mixing with the alcohol.  After soaking for a bit, you can then remove the unwanted plant matter and you are left with a CBD infused alcohol solution.  The goal at this point is to evaporate all the alcohol out of the solution so all that is left is the CBD concentrate.


Rather than using alcohol, you can use carbon dioxide to extract CBD concentrates. Supercritical CO2, in other words heat and pressure is applied to CO2 gas, when this happens the CO2 acts both as a gas and as a liquid.  The only drawback to this method is that the equipment is super expensive, but it produces a very pure and clean oil.

Butane and Propane

Have you ever heard of an underground cannabis operation blowing their house up?  If so this was probably the extraction method they were using.  This method requires you to introduce either butane or propane to the plant material.  When the plant material is soaked in these solvents the cannabinoids are extracted from the plant material and infused with the liquids. Once the extraction is done the goal will then be to evaporate as much of the butane or propane as possible.

This can obviously be a very dangerous extraction method.  A lot can go wrong!  For example, this method requires you to apply heat to very flammable chemicals, you could easily blow yourself up.  Also if all the butane or propane isn’t taken out then there is a risk of consuming dangerous chemicals risk for whoever is using. However, if done right this can produce some of the most flavorful and potent concentrates available.


Rosin is an interesting extraction method because it doesn’t require the use of any chemicals.  Instead of using a solvent, this process require the application of heat and pressure to the plant matter.  It was first discovered when people would take herbs and press them in between parchment paper with a hair straightener.  Now there are devices, that look more like T-shirt presses, that can dial in the proper temperature and pressure to get the most concentrates out of the product.  Rosin is particularly safe to use because there are no chemicals used at all.

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